A Great Idea: Helping to Feed the Hungry

AARP member event again features volunteer opportunity

The next installment of the AARP National Event, Ideas@50+, Sept. 4-6 in San Diego, promises a new spin on the standard format, with a focus on innovative thinking and interaction with some of today’s most interesting thinkers.

AARP Life@ 50 Boston

AARP members pack meals at Life@50+ Boston. Meals were donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. — Ian Cunningham

But, of course, when it comes to the Foundation’s involvement, there will be more than talking going on. As at the last National Event, in Boston, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a meal-packing event over the course of the three days, part of AARP and AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger campaign to end senior hunger. This will be the fourth such event this year sponsored by Chase, which has donated more than 100,000 meals to the cause.

Related: See highlights from the Boston meal pack event

The goal in San Diego is to pack 50,000 meals, all for the benefit of the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank. In operation since 1977, the San Diego Food Bank distributes food through a network of food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other organizations – some 350 altogether – in San Diego County. They serve an average of 320,000 people a month and last year distributed 22.3 million pounds of food. More than 28,000 volunteers help with the work annually.

To further the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s work, AARP Foundation will present a check for $62,500 during the Thursday Day of Service kickoff. AARP Ambassadors Dan Marino, Samantha Brown, and Dr. Pepper Schwartz will join Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson and Chase Card Services Marketing Director Jim Saberton for the presentation to the food bank president, James Floros.

Throughout the year, Chase has also been supporting the Drive to End Hunger cause by donating money through its AARP Credit Card from Chase program: Every time a cardholder uses the AARP Credit Card from Chase at a restaurant, Chase donates $0.25 to AARP Foundation in support of Drive to End Hunger. Chase will donate up to $1 million through this campaign in 2014.

Learn more about AARP Foundation’s hunger initiatives

AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger and joined forces with NASCAR champion, Jeff Gordon, in 2011 to address the staggering food needs of America’s struggling older adults, nearly 9 million of whom suffer from food insecurity every day. What does “food insecurity” mean? It means these older adults don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or whether they will be able to have that next meal at all. It means they make tough choices between food and rent or even medicine.

If you’re attending the National Event in San Diego, be sure to take some time to put your hands to work by volunteering at the meal-packing event. It’s just one of the many great ideas that will be inspiring everyone who takes part in Ideas@50+ San Diego. Sign up now to volunteer at Ideas@50+.

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AARP Foundation is a National Strategic Partner of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

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